Indulge your love of French styles at The Crown Collection antique emporium

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“Nous sommes amoureux des styles français”  – we are in love with French styles. (It only seemed appropriate to start this blog in French). There is no denying that when it comes to French food, wine, perfume, and fashion, the French flair and penchant for refinement are unmatched. And that quintessential “je ne sais quoi” seamlessly translates into their timeless interior decor trends. 

French styles of interior design tell a story that has been inspired over hundreds of years by culture, history, landscape and lifestyle. That is why it works in any home and why we cannot get enough of French furniture and accessories. 

The effortlessly chic way the French decorate their homes brings together the iconic character and elegance of the space with practical luxury.”  – Betsy Kasha

From a “pied-à-terre” (small apartment) to a grande maison” (large house), curating your space – French style – will always add a sense of casual sophistication. The allure is captivating and irresistible and it is so easy to bring the signature elements and lived-in warmth into your own home. 

If you are ready to start your hunt for antique French pieces, we highlight some of the key elements of three French styles

#1 French Farmhouse 

If you are looking for the epitome of rustic charm, then the French Farmhouse style is it. Exterior pastel shutters usher you into a welcoming interior with stone floors, light wood tones and simply shaped furniture. 

French Farmhouse Style with antique bird cage

Decorative bird cages, rattan storage baskets and rattan chairs will be casually placed to create a soulful balance and weathered comfort. The spaces almost look un-decorated and yet there is harmony and a subtle curated intent. Although the overall palette is muted and monochromatic, colour beckons under a glass cloche in the form of macarons or petit fours as well as oversized blooms randomly placed in glass vases.  

The French celebrate age and tradition which celebrates distressed furniture and scratches. And a faded or fraying Aubusson rug is the perfect floor covering in a French Farmhouse aesthetic. 

#2 French Provencal

 Anyone who has travelled to the region of Provence cannot depart without leaving part of their heart behind as fields of lavender and olive orchards weave their magical spell.  That landscape is beautifully translated into a French Provencal style aesthetic that includes exposed stones, whitewashed walls and a dreamy colour palette of ochres, lavender blues and olive greens. The overall finish is warm, friendly and cheerful – much like the people.

French Provencal Style furniture

intrinsic to the Provencal decor style is the blending of the French countryside with the Parisian elegance and dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when the peasant classes wanted to decorate their houses with furniture similar to the kings but on a smaller budget. This featured elements such as console tables, writing desks and ornate mirrors. Bleached wood is one of the signature elements of this style.  

Wrought iron is a material that features strongly French provencal decor – from beds and outdoor furniture to lanterns. Ceramic pottery, pitchers and concrete urns and planters are also key elements of French Provencal style decor. 

French Provencal antique style furniture

#3 French Chateau

Although all French styles are characterised by a relaxed and eclectic simplicity, the French chateau-style (aka Chateauesque) adds a touch of luxurious and ornate whimsy. The decor story originates in grand houses furnished with bronze accessories, crystal chandeliers and walls with mouldings, wallpaper, portraits and tapestries. 

Decadently patterned upholstered gilded armchairs, chaise lounges, clawfoot tub baths, elaborate mirrors and silver candelabras finish off the French chateau design brief. If you are going to go all out on French chateau-style, then quality antique pieces have to play a role and be centre stage. 

French Chateau style antique furniture

Visit the Crown Collection for some French-style inspiration

Your French-style decor passion – be that natural materials, muted colours, toile fabrics, extravagant lighting, touches of gold gilding on mirrors, chairs, settees or tapestries – will easily be satisfied at The Crown Collection

Whether your French look and feel is Farmhouse, Provencal, Chateau or an eclectic mix, we have the largest selection of antique French furniture, wall decor and accessories.  

Choose your items and buy them online or visit the store @ 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. We deliver to your door.


3 Reasons to invest in an antique armoire

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You say “wardrobe, cupboard or closet,” we say “armoires and Dutch bombe cabinets.” But we are not going to quibble over terminology because when it comes to statement pieces, hero pieces, accent pieces or conversation pieces – antique and vintage armoires are simply awesome and tick every box. An artisanal celebration of form and function, these period pieces – in all shapes and sizes – are a must-have in every home. 

Simply defined, an armoire is a large cabinet or wardrobe with panelled doors – in wood, glass or mirrors – featuring shelves, hanging space and draws. Antique armoires are handmade from solid wood  – oak, walnut, mahogany, ash, rosewood etc – and have a longstanding reputation for their craftsmanship and decorative detailing.

As a collector or lover of antique furniture and vintage pieces, an armoire is that one piece that adds the practical wow factor and is a great addition to modern spaces. 

If you still need persuading, here are 3 reasons to inspire you to add an antique or vintage armoire to your home:

#1 They are so functional

A vintage or antique armoire is hands down one of the best purchases you can make when it comes to decor investment pieces. Not only will they hold their value, but they also tick the sustainability box and offer a variety of functional storage solutions over the long term. 

No matter what you want to store, an armoire puts its best foot forward in every room of the house – from books, linen and clothing to toys, dinner services, silverware and even pantry staples.

Antique Armoire storage solutions

#2 They are so versatile

It might sound like we are beating the same drum, but there are so many reasons to recommend an armoire. Their unique versatility lies in the various styles that you find with each telling a different story; adding a bespoke element to your design scheme. There is one that is just right for every style of home. 

One of our favourites is a classic and timeless antique French armoire. You have so many options to choose from – French Provincial, Art Deco, French Country, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Rococo, Louis Philippe, and Louis XV styles. The romance associated with French furniture and the ornate inlays and decorative embellishments make these highly desirable. (And then you might as well add a chandelier to complete the French chic aesthetic).

Antique French Armoire

A conversation about armoires is not complete without shining the spotlight on Dutch bombe cabinets and Dutch cupboards. These 18th and 19th-century ‘armoires’ create a grand presence in any room. Dutch cabinet makers were the first to include marquetry, parquetry, linefold decoration, lacquered panels and veneer over carved oak pieces. Another mark of Dutch furniture craftsmen was their artisanal inventiveness and high standard of construction. 

Showcasing an antique Dutch bombe cabinet or linen press/armoire in your home is the epitome of a functional and versatile hero piece. The upper part of the cabinet generally has an arched moulded cornice centred by carved scrollwork with doors enclosing shelves and drawers. The lower part has a bombe design – two short and two long drawers – inlaid with floral marquetry and raised on ball-and-claw feet. 

Antique Dutch bombe cabinet

#3 They are so beautiful

The visually interesting elements, decorative hardware and different woods all contribute to antique and vintage armoires excelling in the beauty category. Because they take up more vertical space than horizontal space, they are ideally suited to smaller footprint spaces; adding a timeless and beautiful decor element to any contemporary house, townhouse or apartment.  

Armoires are the one timeless piece of antique furniture that interior designers gravitate towards to boost your decor statement and solve your storage issues. One of these highly sought after pieces deserves a place in your home and will complement any space. 

Antique & vintage armoires

The Crown Collection

As the largest emporium of curated and handpicked antique and vintage items in South Africa, The Crown Collection needs to be your first stop when sourcing the perfect armoire to furnish your home. 

But whatever vintage accessory or piece of furniture you are looking for, The Crown Collection is a treasure trove of antique delights. Visit us at our studio at 10 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, or indulge your passion for antiques by shopping online. (We deliver nationwide). 

Start by browsing all our antique armoires, Dutch bombe cabinets and linen presses.


5 Reasons shopping for antiques is a decor no-brainer

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The resurgence of incorporating antiques into modern interiors continues to gain momentum. Mid-century modern decor and vintage-inspired aesthetics have been reimagined to fit 21st-century design narratives. And across the globe, interior decorators and homeowners are embracing the rich heritage of antique furniture to perfectly counterbalance contemporary spaces.  

“I know that personally I could not decorate a house, let alone live in one, without antiques! Decorating with antiques adds character, charm and elusive gravitas to a scheme”  – Henriette von Stockhausen (Top English Interior Designer and owner of VSP Interiors).

Gone are the days when traditional antiques represented old and stuffy museum-like spaces. There is a fresh twist when antique pieces and vintage items are added to modern interiors; transforming rooms with a seamless, layered look that transcends time.  

If your home needs gorgeous personality, bespoke character, one-of-a-kind charm and a sense of story, then a well-placed antique is the solution. It will look like it has been there forever!

Let’s highlight 5 reasons why adding antiques – no matter what your style – is a no-brainer:

#1 The sustainability factor

Conscious consumerism and slow furniture are hot topics in the decor and design industry. This has created renewed interest in antiques as they become an authentic player in this conversation. There is no denying that antique furniture is an environmentally-responsible and sustainable way of decorating your home in the face of a throw-away culture. 

Antique furniture sustainability

Antique furniture celebrates solid wood and unique craftsmanship. Re-using these quality ‘traditional’ pieces of artisanal furniture in modern schemes significantly reduces our carbon footprint compared to new and mass-produced furniture. 

#2 The wow factor

There is nothing that says ‘hero or statement piece’ in a contemporary space more than a well-selected antique or vintage item. Antiques have the ability to transform any space into a dream space. In the kitchen, an ebonised desk and chandelier will transform it from bland and boring to charming and indulgent. A Victorian secretaire will add warmth, character and show-stopping storage to a bathroom or bedroom. Mirrors (we have over 300 to choose from) and kists were made for any room, but are especially good at redefining an entrance hall. (We have an entire blog dedicated to how antiques can help make an entrance to your home).

Antiques kitchen decor

#3 The versatility factor

In interior design circles, there is a move away from a cookie-cutter decor story or ‘showroom’ look. Discerning homeowners are looking for a layered aesthetic that will give their spaces a ‘collected-over-time’ feel that is personal, unique and timeless. Mixing antique furniture and vintage items with newer pieces seamlessly brings in this depth and history. It can be as easy as adding a pair of Chinese yoke back chairs to a rustic contemporary farmhouse design. Their simple sculptural shapes are the perfect balance to a modern minimalist room

Antique yoke chairs

No matter what space we are talking about – indoors or outdoors – the versatility of vintage and antique options makes them the perfect accent pieces. When something is missing from a modern space, the likely solution is an antique. 

#4 The price factor

The price tag cannot be ignored, but generally speaking – unless we are talking about a rare collectable – antiques are not necessarily more expensive than good quality new furniture. (They obviously cannot be compared to the affordability of mass-produced items – but the quality, durability, sustainability and longevity of these cheaper items do not match those of antiques.). 

And then, of course, there is the investment factor and the appreciation of antiques over time. The fact that antiques will not only retain their value but are likely to appreciate in value compared to their contemporary machine-made counterparts, make them definitely worth investing in. So add a few pieces that you love and up the beauty in your home. 

Modern art and antique furniture

#5 The Crown Collection

If you are not yet persuaded as to the beautiful allure of antiques, then you have not yet stepped into The Crown Collection emporium, where over 5000 antique, French, contemporary and vintage items await. This curated treasure trove of antiques is hand-selected – from chandeliers and objets d’art to armoires, daybeds and everything in between. (Enjoy 30% off your purchase until 31st March 2022 – just another reason to shop for antiques!).

Visit our blog page for more inspiration and ideas on how to include antiques – of all shapes and sizes – into your home. 

Finding the perfect antiques to complement your decor style is as simple as shopping online. Or visit us in the studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.


Black & white with a touch of antique furniture

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Opposites attract and in this case, a black and white palette attracts antique furniture; the perfect complement to a timeless and classic design aesthetic. Black and white interiors are a basic monochrome and minimalistic decor solution that make a bold and striking statement. But the stark sophistication and drama need to be softened with a layered storytelling element for warmth, depth and richness.

Antique furniture and vintage pieces are the obvious solutions to balance the polar opposites of a black and white interior design narrative. 

‘The Illuminati’

The simplest way to up the ante and create interest in a monochromatic space is with lighting. Antique chandeliers and vintage lighting options become the obvious solution to achieve this; the decorative designs, shapes and materials available will create the perfect mix-and-match element to ‘ground’ a black and white scheme. It’s all about layering the interest. 

Antique & vintage lighting

‘Smoke and mirrors’

Every space in your home deserves a mirror. And when it comes to antique furniture and vintage accessories, mirrors take the lead. Wooden, bleached, painted or gilded, they help any black and white scheme become the fairest of them all. They reflect light, enhance a space and add beautiful architectural contrast in a contemporary setting. 

Antique & vintage mirrors

‘The colour purple’

A black and white palette becomes the perfect excuse to add a feminine hint of colour and texture; saving a scheme from masculine monotony or being cold and clinical. (In feng shui this is a yin and yang moment). No matter where your heart lies on the colour wheel, an antique or vintage occasional upholstered chair is a versatile supporting actor. Playful interest is always welcome when looking to add personality to a space. (And remember – gold is also a colour!).

Antique occasional chairs

‘See the wood for the trees’

Speaking of colour, antique furniture is a ‘green’ eco solution. The visual warmth of natural wood elements is the ultimate in sustainable design elegance, elevating any contemporary monochrome space. Darker wood antique pieces will add historical drama and presence while lighter-toned wooden pieces will counterbalance the serious black and white tones with a relaxed warm French or rustic vibe. Your wooden antique and vintage options are broad – from imposing armoires and smaller wooden kists to decorative screens and grandfather clocks (which are timeless). 

Natural wood antiques

‘On display’

Antique accessories and vintage itemsglass pitchers, porcelain vases, silverware, candlesticks, antique books, artworks and concrete busts – are where you get to have a little decor fun and add some whimsical charm against a black and white backdrop. Arranging vignettes of objets d’art on a side table or shelves keeps your eye engaged and gives dynamic context to a neutral palette. Your room will come to life with these curated decorative and eclectic groupings.

Antique & vintage objets d'art

‘The Crown Collection’

There is only one emporium that will satisfy your antique curiosity and deliver on the largest collection of vintage, French and antique furniture in South Africa. With over 5000 items in stock, The Crown Collection is a space where you can indulge your antique design creativity in one place and shop to your heart’s content. 

Browse and shop all our collections online or visit us in-studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.


What’s not to love about antique French mirrors?

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When it comes to antique mirrors, you’ll have to pardon our French. To say we are in love with these reflective and versatile decor beauties is an understatement. And when it comes to French mirrors, we can hardly contain ourselves, but a blog will have to do. From the mirrored halls of Versailles to your home, a touch of decadence is always a finishing design touch and French antique mirrors deliver this in spades. 

Besides their practical benefits, French mirrors will always add a refined decorative elegance to any decor style. Whether you choose from tall and stately or small and charming, the visual glam factor is off the wall!

A French mirror vocab lesson

Let’s brush up on some basic ‘designer vocab’ when talking about French vintage and antique mirrors:  

  • A Trumeau mirror (pronounced ‘troo-mo’) is a classic antique accessory originating in France in the 18th century. It was originally set in wood panelling in walls above the fireplace mantle in wealthier homes. Their purpose was to reflect light and bounce it around the room. An antique trumeau mirror is a rectangular mirror set into a tall wooden frame with a large painted or carved sculptural decoration at the top.

French Trumeau mirrors

  • A Parisian Cheval mirror originated in France during the late 18th century. This is your classic French standing rectangular or oval mirror that has a long, thin frame attached to the top. They were originally made for Marie Antoinette who had an obsession with them and placed 170 of them around the Palace of Versailles.  
  • A Mansard mirror is the epitome of a romantic French Provencal aesthetic. These accent mirrors are inspired by French architecture of the mansard roof with dormer windows dating back to the 1600s. As a smaller decorative accessory, they add a rustic dimension and vintage charm to any space and complement any style.

French Mansard mirror

  • Period style French mirrors from different historical eras have always defined interior design trends and remain statement pieces today. They are the ideal accessory to mix and match with any contemporary design. So take your pick from the following: an antique Louis XV mirror, a Rococo style gilded mirror, an ornate gilded Baroque style mirror, a Neo-classical style bevelled French mirror or a pair of wooden painted Empire style mirrors with gilded highlights. 

Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical style mirrors

A French mirror interior design lesson

Of course, it is lovely to be able to slip some of these French decor words into a conversation, but there is even greater impact when you can slip a French-styled mirror into your design scheme. From gilding, gold- and silver-leafed techniques to distressed paint finishes and effects, there is not a room in your home that will not benefit from a vintage or antique mirror. 

Let’s start in the bedroom: 

What could be more dramatic and gorgeous than an oversized French mirror as a headboard? Talk about a statement piece! Actually, our words cannot do it justice, so we’ll just let you be awed by the visuals. 

VIntage and Antique French mirror headboards

Of course, besides a headboard, you can get functional and up the storage solutions in your bedroom with a mirror-fronted French oak armoire or a 19th-century French carved walnut armoire with a mirrored door.

(We actually have an entire blog dedicated to the irresistible allure of French armoires). 

The bathroom is next

If there is one room in your home that deserves a little French flair, it is the bathroom. A vintage or antique mirror has the power to completely transform and personalise these utilitarian spaces. Go oval with a french gilt option or go big and rectangular with a French-style bevelled mirror with floral ornate carvings

Then there are silver hand-held mirrors that add a simple touch of fairy tale charm to any dressing table or bathroom counter. 

French vintage bathroom mirrors

Don’t forget all your other spaces:

French mirrors are the quintessential decorative accessory to up the glam factor on any wall; becoming living art pieces in entrance halls, living rooms, dining rooms, stairways and even kitchens. Hang them individually for imposing presence, as a grouping for dramatic visual effect, or for an immediate wow factor, stand a large oversized antique French mirror on the floor. 

Oversized French mirrors

Antique French mirrors at The Crown Collection

If we have kindled a love for vintage and antique French mirrors in you, then you will not be disappointed when you visit The Crown Collection, SA’s largest emporium of all things antique, vintage and French

If you are not happy with the finishes on any of our mirrors, our restoration centre can apply bespoke staining, paint effects, French polishing and bleaching, and hand gilding techniques to your one-of-a-kind piece. 

Browse all our collections online or visit us at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

What makes antiques appreciate in value over time?

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Decorating with antiques continues to experience a surge of interest, not only because of each piece’s artisanal story and craftsmanship but also because of their potential to increase in value over time. Antique lovers certainly appreciate the past heritage and timeless decor beauty of each item but they are also acutely aware of the potential reward, should they wish to sell in the future. 

Are those ‘priceless heirlooms’ really priceless and what makes antiques – from big furniture pieces to decorative accessories and collectable objets d’art – appreciate in value over time? 

Defining antiques as ‘investment pieces’ will depend largely on the desirability, condition, availability, authenticity, rarity and quality; the major factors determining whether the antiques in your home will be worth more, years from now. 

Before you go antique hunting, let’s consider the top 3 factors that affect any antique’s value:

#1 Condition

The overall condition of an antique piece of furniture or accessory is a basic consideration when it comes to determining value at auctions or antique shops. A damaged Louis XVI  Fauteuil style armchair, chipped china or porcelain or a cracked gilded Baroque mirrorbesides 7 years of bad luckwill immediately depreciate in value, no matter how collectable or rare they may be. Dents, scratches, discolouration and missing parts all play a role in the depreciation of antique pieces. 

Antiques are generally at least 100 years old, so they are unlikely to be in mint condition. But here’s the industry standard as far as value goes: the less done to the original item to alter it – additions or deletions – the more it will retain its value or appreciate in value.  

Condition of antiques

(It is worth noting that the devaluation of an item – due to damages – will vary depending on the item; a minor chip can significantly devalue a piece of glass, but it doesn’t necessarily have the same effect on a piece of porcelain).

#2 Authenticity

A significant determining factor on the value of an antique item is whether it is the real deal rather than a replica. Reproductions can be difficult to spot, so how do you know? 

  • Do some research: Does the item and the corresponding time period that it comes from match the unique design elements that align with that period?
  • Identify the manufactures’ signature: The signature of an artist, craftsman or manufacturer will go a long way to authenticating an antique item.  
  • Know your materials: Many materials can be replicated. If it says oak or mahogany, make sure it is not a veneer but solid wood. 

Authenticity of antiques

(Provenance – the history of the item – will also play a role in the authenticity conversation and in identifying a genuine antique from a forgery or replica. items that have belonged to famous people and been passed down through several generations have a special history and will always be highly desirable and increase in value). 

#3 Rarity

The fewer there are of an item, the more rare and valuable it is likely to be, even if it has a flaw, imperfection or colour distortion. An appraiser or auction house will be able to correctly determine the rarity value of an antique piece. 

The rarity and related appreciation value of antiques depend on:

  • The number of items made. (Either only a few were made in the first place or few remain in circulation).
  • Whether the furniture piece or object features a rare or unique design. 
  • The difficulty of replicating an item. 
  • An uncommon design, unusual colour or subject matter for the manufacturer or artist.

Rarity of antiques

If you are going to spend money on furniture and decorative accessories for your home that will not only add character and stand the test of time but will hold their value, then beautiful antiques, that you love, are an investment that will give far more than just holding value. 

Browse our blogs for practical inspiration on how to decorate any of your spaces with antique and vintage furniture and accessories

The Crown Collection

Shopping for quality and rare antiques starts at The Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of hand-picked and curated pieces. With over 5000 antique, vintage and French antiques filling our studio, you will find a finely honed collection and eclectic combination of decorative antique, modern and classic styles. 

Armed with the knowledge that antiques will not only retain their value but are likely to appreciate in value compared to their contemporary machine-made counterparts, it is worth saving up and slowly building up your collection of items that you love and that will become statement and investment pieces in your home. 

Shop all our collections online or visit us in-studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

Antique kists & vintage chests – A beautiful & versatile decor solution

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When it comes to decor statement pieces in your home, we salute William Morris – the British textile designer – who was way ahead of his time and sprouted a decor philosophy that we should all follow: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” And what could be more beautiful and functionally versatile than a decorative antique wooden kist or vintage chest to complement any design scheme?

In the furniture world, antique or vintage chests are classified as ‘case goods.’ They are also known as cassones, coffers, kists and trunks. But no matter how you refer to them, there isn’t a more stylish solution to up the ante in your spaces. 

Antique & vintage chests & kists

A beautiful solution

A wooden antique chest or decorative vintage kist is the one accessory that works in basically every room of the house; sprucing up kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, patios, dining rooms and lounges; transforming into stylish coffee tables, eclectic side tables and extra seating options.

Placed at the foot of the bed, next to a chair as a side table or holding centre stage in a living room, an antique trunk or quirky vintage kist will never fail to arouse design interest. Each one tells its own story from the past and adds irresistible decor charm and personality. 

People want to break away from the sameness of interiors and view antiques as a way to create something distinctive.”Kimberley Wray.

Besides being a stylish and timeless showpiece – and depending on which room they end up in – they can also double up as the ideal storage solution for winter clothes, important papers, toys, blankets, linens or cushions. 

Antique trunks

A versatile solution

The added advantage of antique or vintage chests and kists is that they come in an array of different woods, finishes and design styles, so you are spoilt for choice – from teak and mahogany to rosewood and oak. 

Go colonial with an 18th-century Dutch oak kist or regal with a James I carved oak chest. For a slightly more understated look, you can’t go wrong with an Anglo-Indian mahogany campaign trunk with brass detailing or a 20th Century Cape Stinkwood chest

There is no doubt in the world of interior design that decorative vintage trunks and antique kists are the ultimate finishing touch to your home decor and there is just the right one to suit your style – from French rustic or traditional to midcentury modern or contemporary.

These incredibly ​​beautiful and versatile pieces are highly collectable items and are becoming quite a  rarity. 

Antique chests and vintage kists

A sustainable solution

When you add sustainability to the conscious consumer conversation, these pieces of furniture hit the mark like no other. They are the definition of ‘upcycling’ and are the easiest way to mix something old in a contemporary decor setting. 

Upcycling or restoring vintage and antique pieces of furniture baulks the trend of a ‘throwaway culture’ and is one way of reducing waste and our carbon footprint. And buying pre-loved furniture instead of its mass-produced counterparts extends its product life and further helps to minimize deforestation. 

Antique chests and trunks that find their way into your home – instead of the skip – become an ongoing tribute to the artisanal skill and craftsmanship that go into making them. They are sustainable investment pieces that are likely to increase in value over time. 

A local solution – The Crown Collection

Your love affair with all things antique – including chests, trunks, coffers and kists – starts at the Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of curated and handpicked collections of decorative antique, French, vintage, and contemporary furniture and accessories. We’re all about helping you find beautiful and useful pieces to add to your home.

Shop online or visit our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 


Give outdoor areas an antique furniture twist & a little vintage charm

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Indoor-outdoor living is a welcome modern lifestyle trend that has extended the versatility of our homes. And alfresco entertaining – whether you have an urban balcony or a rambling suburban garden – is not going anywhere. This is where carefully chosen antique furniture or vintage pieces add a bespoke touch to an outdoor space that quickly becomes reflective of the owner’s personality. 

In the architectural and building industries, ‘biophilic design’ is a concept that is all about increasing connectivity to, and communication with, the natural environment. What better way to achieve this “dialogue” than bringing the indoors out and up-styling outdoor areas with antique furniture and vintage accessories? 

With nature’s colours already in place, your garden, balcony or patio are the ideal places to play with decor styles by adding an antique twist and some eclectic vintage charm. 

Every space deserves a little history and character, and integrating antique furniture into outdoor design delivers this in spades.

Just add some seating

Antique or vintage furniture, in the form of occasional chairs or a daybed, will immediately turn an outdoor area into a relaxing retreat and a gathering space for intimate tête-à-têtes. 

Antique furniture outdoor seating options

Wrought iron options are the practical and traditional choice, but there really are no rules. From formal to laid back, contemporary to French rustic, there is the perfect antique occasional chair or daybed that needs to find its way outdoors. And if your patio or outdoor entertainment area is protected from the elements, then your decor options soar. Go bold with upholstery patterns and colours and add the scatter cushions and throws. 

Just add some tables

Be that a coffee table or kist, side, console or dining table, an outdoor area needs an antique or vintage option. This is where the casual mixing and matching of contemporary and antique furniture is a success story. Modern garden chairs around an antique wooden table, or a mixed ensemble of antique chairs around a sleek contemporary table, are a natural invitation for memorable dining moments.  ​​

Outdoor antique furniture table options

Styling an outdoor area is where mix-and-match takes on new meaning as the seamless connection with nature encourages the playful arrangement of furniture and design styles. It is all about comfort and communing with nature. It is also where wooden antique furniture fits perfectly, connecting to its roots. 

Just add some urns, pots, jardinières (or concrete dogs)

The stately addition of decorative cast iron or concrete garden urns, terracotta pots and ornamental jardinières are the ultimate romantic garden decor accessories. In the 19th century, the Victorians believed that “decorating your small garden with vine-filled urns meant that you were cultured and you had the money to afford indulgences..” Barbara Israel 

Antique & vintage urns

Today, the classic urn’s versatility is unmatched for all outdoor spaces, adding an immediate structural and architectural element. Besides the obvious loveliness of ivy, topiaries or colourful flowers tumbling out of them, they can be turned into water features or custom side tables (just by adding a piece of glass on top). They add instant vintage appeal and one will never be enough. 

An outdoor space has to have a sense of playfulness and what better way to achieve this than by adding a pair of cement dogs or concrete cherubs!

Vintage cement dogs & concrete cherubs

Just add some bling or quirkiness

Mirrors, chandeliers and decorative bird cages are obvious and timeless go-to accessories that add “wow factor” to any space – even an outdoor one. Mirrors not only make spaces appear larger and reflect light, but on a patio, they reflect nature’s greenery and botanical whimsy. This creates a seasonal artistic element that always surprises and will transform any corner. 

The layering of antique chandeliers or vintage lanterns adds soft ambient lighting and enchantment to an outdoor patio or garden area. 

Antique mirrors, chandeliers & decorative bird cages

The simple trick to making an outdoor area look and feel livable and cohesive is to include a couple of antique or vintage items that are loosely related – perhaps wood type, colour or shape. This adds intentionality and depth to any scheme. 

Just add The Crown Collection

Shopping for antique furniture and vintage items for your outdoor – or indoor –  spaces doesn’t get easier than The Crown Collection; South Africa’s largest antique emporium. With over 5000 pieces of stylish decorative antique, French, vintage and contemporary furniture and accessories, The Crown Collection is not your regular antique store. Rather, it is a curated collection of carefully hand-picked pieces specifically chosen for their decorative appeal – for indoors and outdoors.

Shop online or visit our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, for a unique antique and vintage shopping experience.


Set the scene with antique candelabra & vintage candlesticks

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They could be referred to as the ‘poor man’s chandelier,’ but vintage candelabra have undergone a revolution in the decor industry. As highly sought after decorative styling pieces, their eclectic presence highlights any style or period – be that traditional, Gothic, French or contemporary. 

Antique candlesticks, candelabra and torchieres are just the decorative accessories to add sophisticated elegance and a functional statement to any sideboard, table or occasion. And you can have so much fun accessorizing them and wowing your guests.

Antique candelabra & vintage candlesticks

From crystal, silver or gilded to cast iron or bronze, their romantic glow and decorative elegance are unmatched.

Getting the terminology right

If you are going to talk about vintage or antique candlestick options, then semantics and jargon matter. Is it candelabra, candlestick or torchiere? 

Nursery rhymes made us familiar with candlesticks – quick and nimble Jack jumping over one – and fairy tales delighted us with Beauty and the Beast’s Lumiere, the maître d’ turned candelabrum. (Speaking of which, candelabrum is the singular and candelabra the plural).  

vintage candelabra

Antique candlesticks and candelabra comprise similar features with one defining difference; a candelabrum has ‘branches’ or ‘arms’ to hold more than one candle. (The ‘labra’ are the decorative arms). 

An antique torchiere (torchère), dating back to 17th century France, is a tall metallic or wooden stand to hold a candle, candelabrum or lamp. 

Getting the table setting right

Tablescaping is an industry term that simply refers to creating Instagram-worthy table settings that are works of decor art. And you cannot go wrong with vintage candlesticks and antique candelabra as your starting point centrepieces. 

From a gothic 22-karat gold leaf hand gilded wrought iron torchiere, a set of traditional silver-plated candelabra, and a pair of rare 19th-century French bronze candle holders, to a pair of Baroque-style wooden carved altar pricket sticks or a pair of vintage Art Nouveau candelabra, these pieces are the quintessential decor bling for any occasion or event.

Candelabra table setting

Planning an indoor formal event or a rustic outdoor garden celebration? Your solution to a beautiful and striking setting lies in these timeless and soft lighting options that add whimsical charm and wonder to any occasion.  

For just the right romantic ambience and intimate illumination, vintage or antique candlesticks and candelabra add drama and bespoke personality, especially when partnered with the versatile accessorizing options of floral arrangements or simple greenery. Such artful centrepieces will always stand out from the crowd.

Tablescaping with vintage candelabra & candlesticks

Getting antique shopping right at the Crown Collection

Whether you are a seasoned collector or a novice antique hunter, candlesticks and candelabra are the perfect starting point to any collection. Your journey to sourcing the perfect ‘lumiere’ starts at the Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of vintage and antique furniture items and accessories. 

Should you require stripping, a paint technique, hand gilding or staining of any items, our professional craftsmen are onsite to give you the desired finish. 

Pop in at our studio at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston or visit us online. We will also deliver to your door.

The aesthetic versatility of an antique armoire for every room

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An armoire is often referred to as the ‘queen of antiques,and rightly so. The outward grandeur and elegance of these versatile storage pieces are a quintessential ‘French style’ addition to any room in your home – no matter what your predominant decor style may be. Simply understated or boldly ornate, a vintage or antique armoire will always create visual interest and a functional focal point. 

In the 16th century, the original French ‘armarie’ was used to store weapons. But by the 17th century, their beauty and utilitarianism had evolved into the much-loved decor statement pieces we appreciate today. And we believe every home can benefit from a little French inspiration in the form of an antique armoire.

“Not only do armoires provide capacious storage and fantastic versatility, but their design impact is just what’s needed when you want to add some spice and energy to a room.” Mike Dietrich, interior designer.

Interior designers agree – few pieces add as much flair as an antique armoire. So let’s spice up the spaces in your home with armoires, linen presses, secretaires or bombe chests. (They even have us speaking a little French!)

‘La boudoir’ (The bedroom)

So much more than ‘just a wardrobe,’ a bedroom or dressing room is one of the spaces where a vintage or antique armoire is most at home. Even if you have built-in cupboards, there is no such thing as too much storage space. 

A bleached linen press or mirrored armoire adds so much character and romance. If you have the space, splurge on a bombe armoire. Looking for something smaller and grander than ‘just a chest of draws?’; a bombe chest (coming from the French word meaning “curved”), exudes French allure and your bedroom will immediately have a fairytale castle feel. 

Antique armoire bedroom

‘La salle de bain’ (The bathroom)

Bathrooms have really undergone a transformation as places of decor inspiration, making vintage and antique items seamless statement pieces. A glass-fronted secretaire makes perfect storage sense and is a delightful addition for displaying towels and toiletries without becoming too dominant in a smaller space. Beautifying your modern or traditional bathroom is as simple as adding an armoire

antique armoire bathroom

‘Le salon’ (The living room)

The living room is definitely a space to show off an antique armoire or secretaire; they complement any period or style and the craftsmanship and artisanal elements create an imposing presence. They can easily be adapted to house the TV or become a stylish drinks cabinet. If glass-fronted, they are the perfect backdrop to display books or curated collections of objets d’art. 

Antique armoire living room

‘Le hall d’entrée’ (The entrance hall)

Entrance halls are wonderful opportunities to play with antique or vintage furniture pieces. As these transitional areas don’t usually need a lot of furniture, a bombe chest or linen chest becomes a wonderful decor filler, creating visual charm and personality as soon as you enter your home. A mirrored armoire doubles as storage for shoes, jackets, umbrellas and everyday paraphernalia as well as reflecting light. 

‘La salle à manger’ (The dining room)

An antique armoire makes so much sense as a functional storage and refined decor solution in a dining room. Table linens, crockery, silverware and ceramic collections can all be housed or displayed beautifully in a charming linen press or glass-fronted armoire. A bombe chest works perfectly as a sideboard. And any of these pieces will work just as well in a kitchen. It’s all about visual story selling and conversation pieces. 

Antique armoire dining room & kitchen

La chambre d’amis (The guest room)

If you are absolutely in love with an antique armoire but don’t have place in any of the main living spaces, then the guest bedroom gives you an excuse to invest in one these timeless pieces. Linen cupboards are often absent in smaller contemporary home designs, and so a linen press in a guest room becomes the utilitarian and beautifully practical storage solution for overflow pillows, bed linens and guest towels. 

Antique linen press guest room

La collection couronne (The Crown Collection)

Antique armoires are probably one of the best investment pieces you could possibly acquire. They are versatile, functional, timeless and beautiful. Each armoire will enhance the character of the space it occupies as well as becoming a beloved piece of furniture. 

Find a piece to fall in love with at the Crown Collection where we have the largest curated collection of handpicked armoires, bookcases linen presses, secretaires and bombe chests. 

Shop online and we will deliver to your door or visit us at our Emporium at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. 

(If you are not happy with the finish on any item, we will refinish your chosen piece of furniture with the following options: French polishing, hand gilding, paint techniques, bleaching, or staining darker or lighter). 

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